Italian Dishes with a Georgian Twist
13 August, 2015
Italian Dishes with a Georgian Twist
An exclusive interview with a famous Italian chef
Italy and Georgia have many things in common – hospitable and friendly people, beautiful nature, delicious cuisine, and, of course, wine. A few days ago, Enzo Neri, a famous Italian chef who has been working in world-famous restaurants in England, USA, Dubai, Ukraine and other countries, has paid a visit to Georgia as well.
It was the experience of his close friend Riccardo Massi, who has been involved in the wine business with wine-producing companies in Georgia for a long time, that inspired Enzo to visit Georgia. Riccardo’s company Prospero International has been providing Georgian winemakers with special equipment for years. The Italian businessman loves Georgia and calls it his second homeland: “My friends sometimes even tell me that I am more Georgian than Italian,” he says.
geotv.ge
Riccardo Massi and Enzo Neri
Aside from getting acquainted with Georgian culture and cuisine, the two friends wanted to introduce simple and delicious Italian dishes to Georgians. Chateau Mere, a stone castle hotel located in Georgia’s Kakheti region, hosted the event. The guests were able to enjoy a cozy, relaxing environment, attend the famous chef’s workshop and experience real Italian taste and flavor. The mix of medieval, vintage and rustic architecture of the hotel along with a beautiful yard and the view over green hills of Kakheti created an Italian microcosm in Georgia.

Enzo Neri prepared six Italian dishes and two famous desserts: panna cotta with peach compote and tiramisu using local Georgian products including the sparkling wine of Winiveria. Moreover, he paired each dish with a particular wine by Winiveria brand. It was difficult to single out any of the dishes, but among the most delicious were the gnocchi with acidic butter, the summer truffles and salmon Carpaccio with berries, apples and citrus that perfectly matched Winiveria’s Rkatsiteli, white wine.
“I was shocked in a good way because Georgian ingredients are fantastic and the products are organic.”
geotv.ge
Citrus marinated salmon Carpaccio with apples and fresh berries
“Our aim was to showcase proper and simple Italian cuisine with a Georgian twist. I prepared dishes using local vegetables, meat and milk. I was shocked in a good way because your ingredients are fantastic and the products are organic. During my stay in Baku, I was eating at a Georgian restaurant, and everything I have tried so far was delicious – be it your flatbread
with che­ese called khachapuri or with beans, called lobiani. Also, your matsoni reminds me of thick creamy yogurt. I had it with marmalade and honey and it was amazing. I would compare it to panna cotta, an Italian creamy dessert. Now a few words about the Georgian national drink chacha as well. It resembles grappa, an Italian alcoholic drink that is made in the same way. Usually chacha should not be consumed in the morning, but I downed glass anyway to get rid of my hangover during my stay in Georgia.
“I liked the medieval architecture, especially the Narikala Fortress on the hill. The appearance of the city also reminded me of my hometown, Città di Castello.”
geotv.ge
Italian chef Enzo Neri enjoying chacha
As for the natural landscape, Georgia’s hills and mountains remind me of Umbria, my home region, which is the green heart of Italy. Besides the countryside, I also visited Tbilisi and was amazed. I liked the medieval architecture, especially the Narikala Fortress up on the hill. The appearance of the city also reminded me of my hometown, Città di Castello,” said Enzo Neri in an interview with Georgian Journal.

The famous chef said that he does not have specific plans, yet he does not rule out opening an Italian restaurant with a Georgian twist sometime in the future.

“The main goal of the event was to promote tourism in Georgia, since occasions such as this one will increase interest in Georgian wine and cuisine,” remarked Nino Gagua, one of the founders of Chateau Mere.

Overall, the evening and the culinary fest "Georgian Wine and Italian Food with Georgian Accent" turned out to be a huge success. All the guests were delighted to attend the event and enjoy the exquisite Italian dishes together with Georgian wines.
geotv.ge
Georgian Journal’s reporter watching Enzo Neri work

Photo courtesy of Amo Kinkladze

Author: Lika Chigladze

Print
Other Stories
May 17: Anti-Homophobia and Family Purity Day events take place simultaneously in Georgia
May 17th features two different events: one part of the society marks the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) in Georgia
76 years together – Adjarian couple and their 162 descendants
In the village of Garetke, in Adjara’s Merisi gorge, there live 94-year-old Zekie and 95-year-old Hasan Turmanidzes,
Bicycle Lanes to Be Laid in Tbilisi
Tbilisi will soon boast its own cycle paths and infrastructure, enabling riders to safely navigate the city in specifically modified areas.
Culinary competition demonstrating US-Georgia friendship
On May 5th, 2017, USAID program REAP together with the Culinary Academy hosted an exciting culinary competition marking the 25th anniversary of Georgian and the US friendship.
Smart Kids - Winners of Millenium Innovations Award Visit NASA
The first prize winners of the Millenium Innovations Award, a team of 8th graders called Smart Kids from the Zugdidi
4.7-magnitude earthquake hits Georgia
A 4.7-magnitude quake has hit Georgia. According to the Seismic Monitoring Center, two underground quakes were observed
New Wine Festival to Open on May 13 in Tbilisi Mtatsminda Park
It will be the eighth time that Georgian Wine Club hosts a wine festival, aimed at popularizing Georgian brands, as well as raising awareness and wine culture inside Georgia.
Chips, fizzy drinks and jellies to be restricted in Tbilisi schools
The Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia has devised recommendations aimed at implementing principles of healthy eating in educational centers.
Comfort stations to be arranged at Tbilisi’s 30 locations
As Tbilisi City Hall has reported, comfort stations will be arranged at 30 locations in Tbilisi.
“I want to confess that for my family you are a saint” - Sheikh Ul Islam to Georgia’s Patriarch
"You may never hear anything like this happen in the world: the Muslim sheikh visits the Christian patriarch, kisses his hand and recognizes him as his elder."
Fast buses may appear in Tbilisi soon
Fast buses moving on separate lines may appear in Tbilisi soon,
Polluters to be fined in Tbilisi from today
Beginning from today, the street inspectors will fine the individuals and legal entities for polluting.
Georgia enlisted in low-risk countries list on ‘Bloomberg Risks Map’
The U.S. Bloomberg edition releases the global risks map assessing the threats world’s countries are facing.
Inside the Lives of Georgia’s Child Brides – National Geographic
Mari, 15, lives in the Adjara region. Most girls her age drop out of school to get married. Her grandmother believes it’s a tradition meant to be passed down.
Inheriting the Future, the Georgian-German Year 2017
On April 21 the Georgian-German Year 2017 will officially begin, with an opening ceremony to be held at Tbilisi City Assembly,
Holy Fire descends upon the Tomb of the Jesus in Jerusalem
Holy Fire has descended upon the Tomb of Jesus Christ at the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem today.
Georgian inscriptions on the tomb of Jesus Christ and the Holy Land
‘Golgotha chapel belonged to a Georgian brotherhood and the inscriptions were left by the monks who served there’.
10-year old Georgian ‘business kid’ in pursuit of happiness
Sandro Kantaria is 10 years old but he already has his own income.
Travelling by Tbilisi metro will be free on Easter
In relation to the Easter holidays, the subway in Tbilisi will work with extended schedule.
Vazha-Pshavela reading space to be opened in National Library of Georgia
Great Georgian author Vazha-Pshavela’s reading space will open in the National Library of Georgia.
Georgian team rank 3rd at Google programming competition
Georgian software specialists have taken the third place in a Google’s competition called Hashcode, where 2815 teams from Europe and Africa were participating.
Riverbeds to be freed from buildings in Tbilisi
Riverbeds will be freed from buildings and transformed into recreational zones in Tbilisi.
Movies with smoking scenes might be censored in Georgia
Smoking in films may be censored in Georgia. The amendment offers that the movies, where characters smoke, be shown only during hours when the underage don’t watch it.
Where donors' money is spent - social activists creating artificial problems?
It is necessary to protect the labor rights and we all want the situation to improve in our country in this regard. However, by the campaigns based on lies, the very idea is being discredited.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Other Stories
So-called Night Wolves, Russian motorcycle club, has arrived at Vake Park.
In the frames of the media-program conducted by IREX and US Embassy to Georgia,
Ani Tsitsishvili is a 20-year-old student of Georgia’s Agricultural University veterinary department and she’s very fond of microbiology.
More and more Georgian alternative musical bands are emerging on the scene.
Wooden products are gaining popularity on Georgian market, including glasses, watches, bags, etc. A new item was added to that list recently – bows made of natural wood.
Georgian citizens will be able to enter the EU without a visa for short stays, under a new law passed by the Parliament on Thursday, - Official website of European Parliament reports.
The heavy fire has entirely destroyed the building of a trade centre Chidren’s World last night.
The world-famous American musician Moby expressed his support to Georgian rock band The Mins at the nearest Eurovision contest publicly.
In all prisons throughout Georgia a special Christmas service was held.
An awesome footage featuring foreign students singing Georgian song has gone viral on social media.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.4804
EUR
1
EUR
2.9708
GBP
1
GBP
3.3617
RUB
100
RUB
4.3075
September 2017
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30